Donor clinics to honour Samantha

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 9:24 a.m. February 5, 2014
Updated: 5:32 p.m. February 10, 2014

While a bone marrow donor was recently found for his seven-year-old daughter suffering from leukemia, Const. Chris Sirbos is encouraging people to register with One Match – Canadian Blood Services and Stem Cell Marrow Network.

A head and shoulders close of up of a girl smiling wearing a black Toronto Police toque
Samantha Sirbos requires a bone marrow transplant

Samantha Sirbos' donor was found last month through the network. There are 326,000 potential donors registered with One Match. The group is connected to an international network for registries that has nearly 22 million potential donors.

Diagnosed with leukemia at age three, and a cancer survivor two years later, the little girl relapsed last September when the leukemia returned.

"Since Samantha has been in hospital, she has made friends with other young children who are still searching for matching donors," said Sirbos, whose daughter is scheduled to receive her transplant on February 19.

"There is a need for donors and lots of blood because she’s had several transfusions."

A swab event and "What's your Type" clinic will take place at Toronto Police headquarters on Monday, Feb 10 from  10-2 pm. There will also be a blood donor and mini-swab clinic on Tues. Feb 11, from 9-2 pm at 12 Division.

These two clinics have been organized to honour young Samantha Sirbos.

"No amount of words can express our thanks and appreciation for members of the Service and wider community who came forward to support us," said Chris Sirbos. "Our family is grateful for everything that was done to help us."

Our family is grateful for everything that was done to help us.

Mark Donnison, the Canadian Blood Services vice president of donor relations, said there is always a need for blood.

"The extreme weather conditions across much of the country at the end of December, and into the New Year, have forced us to cancel 24 blood donor clinics," he said.

"Cancelled clinics have resulted in a lost opportunity to collect over 1,200 donations. It’s been a stormy start to 2014. While we have weathered the storm by leveraging our national reserves to ensure patient needs are met, we now need Canadians to help replenish national supplies by booking an appointment and giving blood."

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